Football is increasingly becoming a global game, a point proven again this week with Nicolas Anelka joining the Chinese Super League. Purely to further his international ambitions you understand.
Here are five others who are currently plying their trade in a far-flung corner of the footy map.
Liam Miller (Perth Glory)
The former Celtic and Manchester United midfielder headed down under to Aussie’s A-League in June and was promptly stretchered off with cramp in a pre-season friendly. Things have picked up for him since but the move still harshly illustrates the 30-year-old’s waste of his talent. Miller was drummed out of Sunderland by Roy Keane for a ‘lack of discipline’ and ‘poor time-keeping’ and was mysteriously released from QPR only six months after signing a permanent deal.
It seems an unprofessional attitude is the reason why Miller is now having to put up with blazing sunshine on Australia’s west coast. The poor soul.
Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain)
Just short of seven million quid a year was enough to tempt the Ghanaian to head for the luxurious sunny climes of the UAE and no longer have to put up with the Elephant Man shouting at him in training every day in the chilly North-East. I guess when its put like that his decision to leave Blighty doesn’t sound so bad. In reality though here is a player approaching his peak who revealed himself to be nothing more than a mercenary. To voluntarily depart top level football for a peripheral league with a questionable standard purely for a bag of cash means that Gyan has lost any degree of respect his playing pedigree had previously garnered.
Marlon Harewood (Guangzhou R&F)
Paved the way for Anelka by declining a raft of offers from top flight and Championship sides in the summer when he was part of Blackpool’s post-relegation clear-out and choosing instead a final big pay-day in China. Worse yet it wasn’t even a side in the Chinese top tier but rather Guangzhou R&F, a club recently bought out by ambitious new owners but who were languishing in the lower leagues.
At least that’s what the Cutter reported at the time. It seems we owe Marlon an apology.
The ex-Forest and Vila hit-man had merely signed a six-month contract in order to help Guangzhou achieve promotion to the Super League and to experience a change of culture. Now that’s been attained Harewood is back trialling at his first club Forest, regaining his fitness and attempting to secure a contract in England.
Still, try lowering your wage demands Marlon old son and there might just be some takers.
Marcus Bent (Mitra Kukar)
Bent recently made our 11 Worst Premier League Strikers list, an inclusion merited by his inability to settle at any one club in a sixteen year career. Instead the former boffer of Gemma Atkinson and Danielle Lloyd started brightly at each (fourteen in total) before soon showing his goal-scoring limitations and being punted elsewhere. The 33-year-old is now flattering to deceive in the Indonesian Super League (they obviously don’t have a trade descriptions act over there to call it that) for Mitra Kukar, a side coached by fellow Englishman Simon McMenemy, a former assistant at Worthing.
John Gregory (FC Kairat)
With his tan, arrogance and aptitude for taking on authorities – in his case Doug Ellis – Gregory was like a shit fore-bearer of Mourinho. Has spent the past four years in Israel and Kazakhstan after his reputation over here plummeted following turgid managerial spells at Derby and QPR, Gregory is currently bossing the mighty FC Kairat from Almaty, Kazakhstan.
I bet he’s still smug though.